Healthcare facilities play a crucial role in maintaining continuity of care and public health during and after disasters. At Skanska, our expertise and experience in designing and building resilient healthcare facilities helps communities withstand the challenges posed by climate change, extreme weather and other natural threats.
Here is a look at ways our teams at Skanska are using our knowledge and foresight to incorporate resilience into critical community services in the United States.
Our work on the Samaritan North Lincoln Replacement Hospital in Oregon shows how the design phase is crucial when building for resilience. The facility was built to withstand a 9.0 magnitude earthquake, thanks to deep steel piles and an innovative dual-fuel system. This exceptional seismic performance earned the hospital recognition from The Lund Report as setting a new standard for earthquake readiness in the state.
In the California Bay Area, we collaborated with a major healthcare provider to exceed stringent local requirements by installing emergency backup generators in their medical office buildings. These generators ensure uninterrupted power supply, enabling medical offices to remain operational even during power outages caused by natural disasters.
Preparing for the future
In Astoria, Oregon, we are providing preconstruction services for a major expansion and renovation project at Columbia Memorial Hospital. The project aims to create a resilient facility that can withstand tsunamis, landslides, wildfire smoke, earthquakes, high winds and other extreme weather events.
Winter weather changes
When renovating older hospital buildings in winter-prone regions like the Northeast USA, we work closely with design partners to ensure adequate roof membrane upgrades to cope with heavier snow loads. This proactive approach safeguards patient care areas from leaks and maintains proper infection control protocols.
Flood mitigation solutions
We used our expertise in flood mitigation by constructing a groundbreaking flood-gate system for an academic medical center client in New York. The project addressed flood damage caused by Superstorm Sandy in 2012, preventing the need to relocate the utility room to a higher floor.
In Florida, our work on the Lee Health Gulf Coast Medical Center proved its resilience in the face of 2022’s Hurricane Ian, the fifth-strongest hurricane on record in the state. The hospital, which we built in 2009 and renovated in 2021, endured 240 kilometer per hour (150 miles per hour) winds and a 3-4.5 meter (10-15 foot) storm surge during the hurricane. Proactive planning, including repairing and updating the roof, exterior caulking and expansion joints, ensured the hospital and emergency department remained operational.
Collaborating early and often
At Skanska, we always emphasize the importance of early collaboration with designers, manufacturers and trade partners to anticipate testing needs during constructability discussions. This proactive approach ensures that material testing requirements are met efficiently, minimizing disruptions to construction schedules and patient care.
These are just a few examples that demonstrate our commitment to shaping resilient healthcare facilities that can withstand the challenges of climate change. By integrating resilience early in the design and construction processes, we are ensuring that healthcare facilities remain pillars of community health in the face of natural disasters.
(Article based on a post from Constructive Thinking, a blog from Skanska USA.)
Find out more about our work with healthcare facilities in the USA.